History of Women’s Gloves

It’s always fun to explore during the winter season. It’s common to go ice skating, dine in a restaurant, and sip a cup of warm coffee while watching the snow falling. It’s nostalgic to watch kids play with snowballs in the nearest theme parks as well.

During the winter season, many people stay inside the house, watch TV, stream to songs, cook their favorite meal, or play online games on their computer. In my case, I’d prefer going outside and enjoy the picturesque views. I’d just wear thick sweaters, double socks, scarves, and bonnets. I’d also make sure to use my gloves to withstand the extreme cold.

Aside from a protective hand covering for the severe winter season, I used gloves as a fashion accessory, and incorporating them into my outfit was hard at first. While there’s a variety of styles and designs to choose from, I always encounter some trouble. Then, I decided to dig into the history of women’s gloves, and here’s I found out.

The Origin of Women’s Gloves

Women’s gloves have been a popular fashion trend this 2020. It’s no surprise as they are versatile. We can wear them during weddings, engagements, corporate events, and other special occasions. But did you know that gloves have been around for centuries now? Yes, you heard it right! Read on for further details.

Women’s gloves have been available since ancient times. In fact, they have been recovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. Over the centuries, they have served decorative or utilitarian functions. Experts believed that gloves were used for protection, especially in agricultural work and even in battles. They also indicated power or social status.

In the tenth century, the gloving industry began to rise in Europe and ruled Britain in the 11th century. Gloves were originally used as a tool to confine the realm of warfare. They were made from imported kidskins, sheep, and local deer. Before, only men used the protective hand coverings until the Reformation period.

Women’s gloves in 17th Century

In the 17th century, wearing gloves for fashion and status emerged. In Britain, for example, gloves were confined to the middle and elite class to signify the wearer’s rank and wealth. The glove styles were developed to complement well-patterned designs of clothing. The gloves for men and women were almost identical when it comes to color, decoration, and shape.

Years later, gloves became decorative garments. In fact, they were embellished with silver silken and elaborate gold embroideries. They were bejeweled with stones, making them more popular in different parts of the world.

Fabric gloves were developed and marketed in the 17th century. They were fashionable, elegant, and stunning. Unlike decorated leather options, fabric gloves didn’t communicate prestige or social status.

With the connection between social status and gloves, many people offered the hand covering as a symbolic present. They even considered the object as a method of payment. The courts of law judges, for example, were presented with gloves to symbolize the power of the State. Then, they sprayed some perfume or inserted gold coins into the material to increase the value.

At the end of the 17th century, the emergence of styles for both men and women began. While men opted for more basic styles, elbow-length versions were popular among women.

Gloves in 18th Century

With the different forms of fashionable dress and technical advances in the industry, the use of knitted or fabric gloves started to increase in the 18th century. Then, the price became more affordable, making the hand coverings accessible to a wide range of customers. The elaborate gauntlet styles, however, require extra cost to manufacture. So, experts develop shorter options. Well-constructed, wrist-length gloves are printed, embroidered, and multicolored. This type of gloves complemented lace-trimmed and long-ruffled sleeves.

In the latter part of the 18th century, gloves were not crucial to the male wardrobe. They used it during any sporting pursuits such as riding, driving, hunting, and other activities.

Gloves in 19th Century

The wrist-length styles for both men and women conquered the world until the early 19th century. Popular options consisted of white silk, leather, and cotton gloves.

When women’s clothing became more elaborate, gloves were no exception as they became a decorative fashion accessory. There were specific designs for day and evening wear. Each of the styles was constructed with knitted fibers, white silk, printed leather, and pale-colored embroidery.

In the latter part of the century, fitting gloves were a trend. They were molded to the wearer’s hand contours. Buttoned elbow-length gloves were available in different fabric variations and an array of colors, too.

More vintage accessory posts here.

Gloves in 20th Century

In the 20th century, the social importance of the hand covering declined. Despite the advancement in production, social upheaval affected the way gloves were consumed. After WWII, the social etiquette in wearing the accessory seemed inappropriate. Fashionable gloves were deemed unnecessary. Then, they played a more utilitarian role. Particularly, they were utilized for protection against the long winter season.

In the same year, durable and practical designs were manufactured for both men and women. Some of them were available in black, navy, brown, and other top color choices. Plus, leather versions were made with extra fur to achieve enough warmth and optimal comfort.

In the 1950s, a glove renaissance happened in the realm of women’s fashionable dress. Styles out of satin, netting, and other synthetic fibers began. In fact, women wore a hand covering that matched their jewelry, accessories, and clothing. The trend, however, didn’t last for a year or two. In the 1960s, women seldom used gloves except when the season changed.

Now that you know the history of women’s gloves, you’re probably much prepared to make a twist with your fashion. I hope this article helps you. Share this simple guide to your friends and comment down below for further information!

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